When Pennsylvania State Trooper Andrew Falcon pulled over a speeding vehicle one night for a routine traffic stop, he had no idea his life soon would be in the hands of the driver.
Falcon had just finished writing a speeding ticket for Dawn Rohanna, on April 20 on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, when an SUV sped by and struck him with its side-view mirror. Falcon's dashboard camera, which captured the entire event, showed the trooper grabbing his midsection and limping away after the accident.
"I was momentarily stunned when it first occurred. Then I reverted to my training," Falcon said on "Good Morning America" today.
Both Falcon and Rohanna were shocked.
"It was scary. [I was] very nervous," Rohanna said. "I didn't know where he went."
Falcon managed to make his way to the back of the vehicle before he collapsed to the ground. Rohanna had her daughter, who was riding with her in the car, call 911 as she went to his aid.
The off-duty EMT was surprised at what she saw.
"I expected way worse," she said.
"Thankfully my vest absorbed a lot of the impact of the vehicle. My elbow was directly struck," Falcon said. "I suffered just minor injuries."
The officer ended up with a fractured arm and bruised spine.
Authorities still are looking for the hit-and-run SUV driver involved in the accident.
"State police are pursuing many leads right now and we're very optimistic," Falcon said.
The trooper, who is getting married in August, said if drivers see an emergency vehicle on the roadside, they should move one lane over. Pennsylvania actually requires such action as part of its 2006 Steer Clear law. But for those who can't move over, Falcon said they should reduce their speed.
As for Rohanna and her ticket, Falcon had a change of heart.
"I used my discretion as a police officer and the ticket is void," he said.